Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kate's Studio

Inspired by Susan's post about the kitchen, I wanted to post about my little corner of my house that's my office. This is, unadulterated, how it looks right now. It's a mish-mash of personal and business stuff, though heavy on the business side of things.

One of my jobs is putting the stickers on the bags - you can see sheets of lollipop labels sitting on the left-hand side and some bags sitting on top of them, and sheets with all the stickers removed on top of the books.

Most of what I do is computer work, and my trusty Mac is peeking in on the right-hand side of the picture. (That's a dark corner of the desk, which is why it's not pictured.)

And yes, that's a Stieg Larsson book sitting on my desk, waiting to be returned to the friend I borrowed it from.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

If Our Lollipops Were A Boy Band

I have no idea why I started thinking about this, but what if our lollipop collections formed a boy band? We’ve got five collections, which is the perfect number for pop superstardom!
  • The bad boy – he’s irresistible and ends up in a Love Triangle without even batting an eye.
  • The sweet oneCelebration Time is popular with everyone, wants to hang out and have a good time; he parties but not too hard :-)
  • The nice boy – the Breakfast Tray is an early riser, gets his homework done on time, offers you a ride to school when he sees you standing at the bus stop. Awww.
  • The jock – snowboarding, bungee jumping and capoeira? Definitely the Adventurer’s Pack. He’s XTREME, man. Mmm, I bet he smells really good.
  • The serious, shy one – the Spice Rack writes poetry and seems grown-up for his age. Don’t break his heart!
Who’s your favorite boy band? I just discovered Super Junior M, but they’ve got 7 dudes! I guess we’d better come up with more flavor themes, haha.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

This Is My “Studio”

Sometimes people are surprised to learn that I don’t make This Charming Candy at home. I’m quick to let them know that any food that’s for sale to the public must be made in an approved facility by people who know safe food handling practices.

It’s somewhat similar to artist renting time in a studio. For example, many of my crafting colleagues use the excellent facilities at Seattle’s Pratt Fine Arts Center to do metal, jewelry, glass and other projects.

So, I rent a professional catering kitchen in which to make our delicious lollipops. I’ve met some great people who work for and who rent from the kitchen. I love having access to a large workspace and tools and equipment that I don’t have at home. Did you know that the dish sanitizing cycle in a professional dishwasher takes only about 90-120 SECONDS? How cool is that!

SusanAtStove

This picture happens to have been taken on a Sunday, which is why I appear to be alone in this large kitchen. Sundays tend to be quiet days in the catering business. When I’m making candy on weekdays, I have a lot more company!

photo by Kevin Keeker

Monday, September 27, 2010

Your Commute Sucks

A friend mentioned that having one of our lollipops handy during his long, traffic-y commute just might make it suck less.

Bubble Gum flavored lollipop

That’s a theory worth testing! Do you keep a stash of charming candy in the car for long trips and boring commutes?

Friday, September 24, 2010

An Eclectic Morning Playlist

Some mornings I need an extra boost to get going. And some days, post-lunch food coma is worse than others. When that happens, I pull out this extremely eclectic play list with a today-is-going-to-be-great theme. It consists of:
  • Someday, Tegan & Sara (alternative)
  • Perfect Day, Hoku (you know, that song at the beginning of Legally Blonde)
  • Today is Gonna be a Great Day, Bowling for Soup (uh, yeah, the theme song from Phineas & Ferb)
  • Ordinary Day, Great Big Sea (celtic)
  • Constructive Summer, The Hold Steady (more alternative)
  • Pocahontas Proud, Gretchen Wilson (country)
It's, um, not what you might call coherent in terms of music. But all the songs are about either building something or having a good day or both. And it gives me the energy to make myself be something someday.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wholesale Accounts

Also, due to our tightly packed Q4 production schedule, we just don't have the bandwidth to take on new wholesale accounts right now. Please contact us again in 2011!

(I can't believe I just typed that. It's only September!)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New Packaging Pictures: Charm School Dropouts

Just in case you've never ordered a pack of Charm School Dropout lollipops from us before and wondered what they looked like, here they are.


photo by Kevin Keeker

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lollipop Antennae!

I was holding the spare lollipops in my hands during our last photoshoot and somehow ended up showcasing them as antennae on the top of my head.

photo by Kevin Keeker

We're going to be announcing a special on these star lollipops over on Facebook later today. So keep an eye out for it!

Monday, September 20, 2010

New Packaging Pictures: Adventurer's Pack

photo by Kevin Keeker

I can't help but think that this green looks like it should be new leaves and twigs in a forest or jungle somewhere, somewhere perfect for being on an adventure.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Eye Candy: Ferris Wheel in Fog

One summer, our friend Mark visited me while I was vacationing down the shore with my family in Ocean City, NJ. He took this amazing picture of the Wonderland Pier’s Ferris wheel when it was shrouded in nighttime fog. It’s one of my all time favorite photos.

Wonderland Pier ferris wheel on a foggy night

photo by Mark Handel

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Giant Paddles

I wonder if we’ll ever be making candy in huge enough batches that I’ll need a 5-foot paddle to stir the sugar + water together?

001

Right now, a standard wooden spoon still fits the bill :-)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Packaging Pictures: Celebration Time

Back in grad school, there was one semester where Tuesday was just this unbelievably long stretch of classes - four two-hour lectures in a row, I think. I and my other two roommates would stumble home, brain dead. More often than not, we'd order a Large Nachos Grande from a local Mexican place and mix up some margaritas. Then we'd all lift a glass and toast to: Tuesday!!!

I think maybe celebrating the end of the day with some Celebration Time lollipops would have been better for our brain cells.


photo by Kevin Keeker

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Bulk and Custom Orders

We've been casting an eye on our Q4 production schedule for awhile now, and it's clear that any bulk or custom orders just aren't going to be possible until 2011. If you've already contacted us, your order is being worked on/taken care of - but please don't ask for any new orders. We can't do it.

We'll always fill a Mixed Bag order when we've got the inventory on hand though. Always feel free to ask about that!

Monday, September 13, 2010

New Packaging Pictures: Spice Rack

Happy, yummy Spice Rack lollipops. Warm, delicious Tangerine-Clove... Fragrant Vanilla-Cardamom... Scrumptious Salted Caramel...

photo by Kevin Keeker

I should maybe go eat lunch now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Eye Candy: The Lollipop Guild

Well, maybe it’s more of an earworm than it is eye candy, but this classic clip from The Wizard of Oz is definitely colorful…!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

New Packaging Pictures: Love Triangle

We're continuing to show off our new packaging photos.... I love how dark and gothic looking this one is for our Love Triangle lollipops. You can just see a glimpse of dark purple Sweetheart and a hint of the dark red Blood Sucker.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Delicious Things I Brew in Hot Water

Kate and I are notorious tea fiends. Almost every conversation we have is punctuated – repeatedly – by us taking turns saying, “I’ll be right back, I’m making MOAR TEA”.

orange teapot and rooibos tea

Recently I discovered a local business called Urban Tea that imports really good loose tea. We’re talking really good tea. So far I’m head over heels for Sencha Apple (a green tea) and Rooibos Garden (rooibos tea with lavender and coconut). I love to make them in the evenings. The Rooibos Garden in particular seems to gently pave the way from the waking hours to the sleeping hours. My little Stump Teapot is getting quite a workout!

*happy sigh*

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mixed Bag

We occasionally get requests for a unique mix of lollipops. For example, someone might want to try Pistachio-Marshmallow, Salted Caramel, and Maple Sugar lollipops. Those come in three different packs.

The Mixed Bag is what we'll use to fill those different orders. Our wonderful designer, Justine Kamionsky, put these pink labels together for our smaller, six-lollipop-holding bags.

Most of our candy is bagged ahead of time -- that's how we can ship it so fast -- but we do often have a couple of various flavors hanging around. When that happens, we're more than happy to put together a special mix. (Though we do require that you order 6 lollipops at a time.)

So if you've got a hankering for a couple of flavors that we don't normally put together, send us an email or Etsy convo and ask! We might be able to put together your own special collection.

photo by Kevin Keeker

Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

New Packaging Pictures

Susan came down to the Bay Area for a long weekend awhile ago. We hung out with the amazing Kevin Keeker and took some new lollipop packaging photos. Like this one of the Breakfast Tray lollipops:

photo by Kevin Keeker

I love how warm and comforting the lollipops look. I could just eat them up!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Gourmetibles

Those of you who live north of New York City -- specifically, near Hopewell Jct, NY -- you can buy our lollipops at Gourmetibles. Stop by her shop, get a lollipop or three, and also try her delicious looking cookie-candy concoctions!